Gospel Is Key to Renew Consecrated Life, Says Pope

Highlights Importance of Fraternal Life

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 28, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is emphasizing the daily living of the Gospel as the element that gives beauty to the consecrated life, and the key to renewal in this vocation.

The Pope stated this Friday when he received in audience participants in a biannual general assembly of the Union of Superiors General of religious congregations. The assembly focused on the theme of consecrated life in Europe.

«The profound renewal of the consecrated life begins with the centrality of the Word of God,» the Pontiff said, «and more concretely in the Gospel, supreme rule for all of you.»

«The consecrated life is a plant with a wealth of branches that has its roots in the Gospel,» he said.

The Holy Father continued, «This is demonstrated by the history of your institutes, in which the firm will to live the message of Christ and configure your life to him, is and remains the fundamental criterion of vocational discernment and of your personal and communal discernment.»

He affirmed that «the Gospel lived daily is the element that gives beauty to the consecrated life and presents you before the world as a trustworthy alternative.»

«Contemporary society needs and the Church expects you to be a living Gospel,» Benedict XVI stated.

«You are seekers of God by vocation,» he affirmed. «To this pursuit you consecrate the most precious energies of your life.»

«You seek the definitive, you seek God, keeping your gaze fixed upon him,» the Pope added. «Always be passionate pursuers and witnesses of God!»

Prophetic element

The Pontiff stressed a «fundamental aspect of the consecrated life:» fraternity.

«Fraternal life is one of the aspects greatly sought by young people when they draw near to your life,» he acknowledged.

«It is an important prophetic element that you offer to a fundamentally individualistic society,» the Holy Father added.

He continued: «I know the efforts that you are making in this field, as I also know the difficulties that communal life has.

«There is need of serious and constant discernment to listen to what the Spirit says to the communities, to recognize what comes from the Lord and what is contrary to him.»

Benedict XVI urged, «Be masters of discernment so that your brothers and sisters assume this ‘habitus’ and your communities become an eloquent sign for the world of today.»

«A last element that I would like to highlight is mission,» he said. «Mission is the Church’s mode of being and, in it, of the consecrated life itself.»

«It is part of your identity,» the Pope affirmed. «It moves you to bring the Gospel to everyone, without limits.»

He noted that «mission, supported by a powerful experience of God, by a robust formation and by a fraternal life in community, is a key for understanding and revitalizing consecrated life.»

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Full text: http://zenit.org/article-31090?l=english

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